College students: 18 Ways to Make Bank Over Breaks
You are probably looking forward to some rest and relaxation over your break, right? Right. But here’s something I want you to think about: You really don’t want to spend your whole week lying around or wasting time watching TV. If you get too used to the feeling of having no responsibilities, restarting school the week after could be a rude awakening! On the other hand, there’s a countless number of ways you can spend your break productively—and even save or earn some serious cash! Let’s talk about some of them:
- Cook at Home – Commit to eating at home for your entire break. Host a potluck with your friends to test out the cooking skills you’ve learned at college.
- Hang Christmas Lights – It’s time to earn some money before the approaching Christmas season. Find a friend who also wants to make extra money and offer your decorating services to neighbors, your friends’ parents and your church community.
- Run Errands for Neighbors – Let your neighbors know you’ll be home for break and see what errands you can run for them. Do they need their groceries picked up? Do they need you to return items to Target? Busy families will love this service!
- Teach Your Skills – Do you know how to play drums? Do you speak Spanish? Teach your skills to others. This is something you could continue to do once you’re back on campus by using video chat or by teaching these skills to your college classmates!
- Clean Cars – Ask your parents or family to promote your car service at their workplaces and schedule washing a few cars a day in the parking lot of their offices. This will be convenient for the customer, and you can hitch a ride with family to save money on gas!
- Lawns – Lawn maintenance is time-consuming—and an important task when guests are arriving for the holiday season. Offer to rake leaves and mow lawns during your time off.
- Tutor – Did you excel at a subject in high school? Offer your tutoring services to students who need help in that subject.
- Turn Your Hobby Into Cash – Are you crafty or a great baker? Are you a painter? Sell your items on Facebook or at the local farmers market. My friend Christy Wright has great advice on turning your hobby into a business—check her out!
- Volunteer – Spend your break volunteering at your local food bank, library or animal shelter. If you’re busy helping others, you’ll be less likely to blow money on going out. More importantly, you’ll be making a difference in your community.
- Case Your Closet – You emptied your closet of your favorite items and took them to college. Survey what’s left and sell what you can!
- House-Sitting – It’s break, so that means many people are going on vacation and will need someone to watch their house. Since this doesn’t require a lot of time, pair it with another one of my moneymaking tips, and you’ll be rolling in cash!
- Pressure Wash Driveways and/or Houses – Everyone wants their house to look good during the holidays. Borrow or rent a pressure washer and offer to clean neighbors’ driveways and vinyl siding. If you can, hand out flyers for your services a few weeks before break so you can get started right away!
- Meal Prep for Others – If you’re a good cook and a planner, you are a busy family’s best friend. Post on local Facebook parenting and neighborhood groups and start making meal plans and casseroles. But here are a couple of safety tips: First, always meet for meal delivery in a safe place or have someone you know go with you if you don’t know the person. Also, check to be sure you’re in compliance with any local or state laws regarding food health and storage.
- Sell Your Textbooks – Did you buy books at the beginning of the semester that you haven’t used? Sell them!
- Sell Your Car – This one might sound crazy, but the truth is that most universities don’t let students bring their car to campus. Stop wasting money with maintenance, gas and registration and put that extra money towards tuition or whatever you’re saving for.
- Job Shadow – Find a professional in your area with a career that interests you and request to shadow them on the job during fall break. Pack your lunch daily to save money while gaining knowledge to move forward in a career.
- Rent Your Video Games – You won’t be playing them while you’re busy visiting with family and friends, so put them to use by renting them out. This is something that could be continued when you are back on campus.
- Apply for Scholarships – It’s never too late (or too early) to start applying for scholarships for next semester or next year. You’ll thank yourself for using your time wisely!
Look like a long list? Don’t freak out! You don’t have to do all—or even most—of these over your break. Choose two or three that fit with your skills and interests, and then keep an open mind as you think about how they could help you earn money and make the most of your free time. You can use at least a few of these tips to save some extra funds between now and the day your classes start back. Remember, there are no quick-and-easy shortcuts to real wealth. The only way to build and have wealth that lasts is to keep up the daily grind. Every little good decision you make counts—and over time, they add up to success.
About Anthony Oneal: Since 2003, Anthony ONeal has helped thousands of students make good decisions with their money, relationships and education to live a well-balanced life. Now Anthony has joined Ramsey Solutions to spread this encouraging message to students nationwide as a Ramsey Personality. His national best-selling book, Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make in College, released April 2017. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and Instagram @AnthonyONeal and online at anthonyoneal.com or facebook.com/aoneal.